49 Langarans

49Langaran

Heather Prost

Langara Alum | Accessible Arts Advocate

You might be surprised to find arts programming in a local brewery. Enter Heather Prost, Arts Programmer at Steel & Oak Brewing Co. Heather manages the community gallery space that shows works from artists from all walks of life, including those who are LGBTQ+, disabled, or living with mental health challenges. Heather is a facilitator, mixed media visual artist, and end-of-life doula; she is also an Expressive Arts Therapy student at Langara College.

“I want to help give people access to their imagination again. For some reason, when we grow up, our childlike urges to play and to imagine are shed. We take creativity for granted.”

While studying Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University, Heather co-created an initiative called ArtTHRIVE, a free arts-based workshop for survivors of sexualized violence. A conversation from a participant inspired her to explore therapeutic arts that evening – Langara’s Expressive Arts Therapy program stood out to her.

“Seeing positive growth and self-love is inspiring. One thing healers often put aside is their own needs to heal. Helping others care for themselves is easy, but remembering to practice your own self-care can be challenging.”

The Expressive Arts Therapy program, the first of its kind in BC, offers an arts-based approach to integrative psychotherapy training. It emphasizes working with the imagination using art modalities such as creative writing, drama, visual arts, theatre, and movement, to bring about healing and transformation.

In her practicum, Heather has the opportunity to select the demographic she wants to work with. She has decided to focus her work on hospice care, including working with terminal patients and supporting their families.

“I am a firsthand witness of how healing the expressive arts can be. I was able to make sense of my own trauma by engaging in expressive arts therapy. When you have the opportunity to bear witness to that, you’re going to want to immerse yourself in it.”

In her spare time, Heather enjoys interior design, and is a tropical plant enthusiast. She is currently taking care of 80 plants and documents their plant growth in various spaces in her home. Heather also enjoys spending time with her three cats Pearl, Eta and Burt.

Article from 2020 Continuing Studies Spring Guidebook.

49 Facts — NO. 1

On October 13, 1970, a crowd of staff, students, and VIPs made the “great trek” from the King Edward Education Centre to herald the opening of the new VCC Langara campus, including a motorcade of 150 cars.

Meet more 49 Langarans.

  • Stephen Lee

    Stephen Lee

    Langara Alum | Business Leader

    Stephen is currently the CEO of Musqueam Capital Corporation, where he has been a key part of Musqueam’s successful economic ventures. Previously, he was Musqueam’s Chief Financial Officer and has also held senior leadership roles in various public and private companies. He received his CPA, CMA designation in 1995 and was awarded Fellow of CPA and CMA Canada (FCPA, FCMA) in 2009. He currently serves on the Board of the Langara College Foundation and has held past roles on other boards including Chair and Treasurer of the Certified Management Accountants of British Columbia. Stephen is also a part-time instructor in UBC’s Master of Health Administration program. He has been a past moderator in both the CMA and Executive CMA Strategic Leadership programs.

  • Valerie Dunsterville

    Valerie Dunsterville

    Retired Employee | Langara Pioneer

    An “original Langaran,” who was part of the 1970 trek from Vancouver Community College’s old King Edward Campus, Valerie was the Dean of Student and Education Support Services for Langara College and had previously been the Registrar for the VCC Langara campus. Her impact on the College has been immeasurable. As the Registrar, she set up Langara’s student records systems and processes, many of which are still in use today. As Dean, she was responsible for all student and educational support services on campus which included the Library, Bookstore, the Registrar’s Office, Counselling, Health Services, Athletics, Daycare, Food Services, Disability Services, and First Nations Services. She was also a passionate champion for Langara outside of her work. In 1999, Valerie was awarded the Order of the Falcon for her support of the Langara Athletics department. She continues to support student success through her endowed award with the Langara College Foundation.

  • Ruth Bancroft

    Ruth Bancroft

    Retired Employee | Childcare Advocate

    For 41 years Ruth was the Head Teacher of the Langara Child Development Centre. She led the Centre from 1978 to 2019, creating a high quality, play-based, inclusive childcare program that celebrates the uniqueness and diversity of its children and families and values the amazing contributions of its staff. Ruth and her staff have worked tirelessly with other community organizations to support the children attending daycare at Langara and help families navigate the, at times, complex system of child care funding and services. A long-time advocate for universal and affordable public childcare, Ruth was thrilled when the Langara Child Development Centre was selected as one of the prototype centres to pilot BC’s $10 per day childcare plan. A valued member of provincial and national advocacy organizations, Ruth was a member of the Vancouver Local Supported Child Development Advisory Committee; served as Board Member of SpecialLink, the National Centre for Child Care Inclusion; and continues to be active as a Board Member of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and Child Care Now. Ruth recently received the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education in recognition of her contributions.

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